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St. James Math Teacher Inspires Students In Math

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ST. JAMES, Minn. -

On a cold winter day in a school of 500 students, a St. Jamesteacher commands and inspires the minds of his students.

Thomas Cooper's tempered militaristic background normalizedthe quixotic volatility of his high school students. With a background inelectrical engineering and having served as a career communications officer inthe signal core in the military for 22 years he gained a deep respect andunderstanding of mathematics, a subject most students shy away from; rather, heencourages his students in grades 7 and 12 to participate and grasp theconcepts he puts before them.

Student, "And plus 35 n."

Cooper says, "Yeah, anyone remember what property thatis when I switch them around or I move them?

Say it louder..."

Students, "Commutative."

Cooper, "Commutative property, right."

And his teaching skills paired with his militaristicbackground have already earned the attention and merits of the United States'Department of Defense.

St. James Principal Ted Simon says "He's been nominatedfor a Golden Apple Award and he's also being honored by the Department ofDefense.

When the Department of Defense calls, you call back."

And it's the tempered inspiration he inspires that encourageshis students to learn.

St. James 7th and 12th grade math teacher Thomas Cooper andGolden Apple recipient says "I want to make sure I can do the best. Idon't want to just go through the motions. I want to make sure that I make adifference in people's lives."

And that's what has earned Mr. Cooper the Golden AppleAward.